University of Colorado - Boulder

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Chemical Engineering


ECOT 311, 530 UCB

University of Colorado, 478UCB

Boulder, CO 80309

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. - Chemical Engineering, M.E. - Chemical Engineering

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (ChBE) offers an innovative graduate program and emphasizes the doctoral degree. ChBE's outstanding national and international students take advantage of the high level of faculty-student collaboration and benefit from access to three interdisciplinary research centers. Department faculty and students have won numerous awards both nationally and internationally.

General research areas within the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering include: biomaterials, biopharmaceutical engineering, catalysis, surface science and reaction engineering, complex fluids and microfluidic devices, computational science; energy and environmental applications, membranes and separations, metabolic engineering and directed evolution, nanostructured films and devices, polymer chemistry and engineering, and tissue engineering.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is one of the top research departments in the nation and maintains sophisticated facilities to support research endeavors. Although research in the department spans many diverse fields, there is a particular emphasis on research in biological engineering, functional materials, and renewable energy.

Biological engineering research includes a broad collection of focal areas spanning from the molecular scale (metabolites, genes, proteins) to the cellular and multicellular scales. Biological engineering projects account for a significant portion of the research activity within the ChBE Department. This research is supported in a variety of manners: federal grants (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.), national foundations (Howard Hughes, Cystic Fibrosis, etc.), and industrial collaborators.

Functional Materials research in the ChBE Department is concentrated in a diverse group of research areas including polymers, nanostructured materials, photovoltaic materials, ultrathin films, catalytic materials, computational materials science, self-assembled monolayers, and liquid crystalline materials. The department has strength in studying materials problems at the nanometer and sub-nanometer length scales. Such fundamental investigations are directed toward technological applications.

Finally, the ChBE Department has an active program in renewable energy research. Studies range from the production and utilization of hydrogen to materials for photovoltaics to biorefining and biofuels research. A number of efforts focus on developing catalysts for converting water to hydrogen and CO2 into fuels such as CO and methanol. Another area of focus is the study of novel photovoltaic materials and structures involving organic, inorganic and hybrid structures for efficient solar energy harvesting.

Degree Details:


The master of science degree requires 30 hours of approved course work and successful completion of a comprehensive final exam or thesis defense. Students may pursue a thesis or non-thesis plan. The department does not accept students interested in a terminal master’s degree except under special circumstances. Students generally obtain master’s degrees in the course of fulfilling the requirements for the Ph.D. degree.


Master of engineering follows the standards of the MS degree program.


The doctor of philosophy degree requires 30 hours of approved course work and 30 hours of dissertation. Students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and dissertation defense.


Contact the school for information

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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